Monday, October 8, 2018


Pom poms are so in right now! They can be used in everything, from garlands to gift wrapping. So why purchase them from a store when you can make them at home with items you already have? Let's put all of that leftover yarn to good use!

Supplies:
1. Scissors
2. Yarn
3. Dog brush
4. Knitting needle (optional for garland)

First, cut yourself a piece about 3-4 inches long. This will be used to tie the pom pom strands together after your wrap them.

Next, wrap the yarn around your fingers. It shouldn't be too tight because you don't want to hurt your fingers and you'll need to leave enough space for the piece of yarn you cut. Wrap it anywhere from 75-100 times depending upon how poufy you want it to be.

Cut the yarn and slide the piece you cut from step one between your fingers.

Tie the string TIGHTLY around the middle of the loops. Double knot it so it won't come loose.

Use the scissors to cut the loops. You'll be left with a very uneven yarn ball.

Trim the edges of the yarn ball until the strings are almost the same length.

Hold the center of your yarn ball tight and begin brushing the fibers out. If you don't hold it tight, you'll accidentally pull the whole pieces of strings out. The brushing will make it really poufy! And the finished project is adorable! You can also use the knitting needle to thread yarn through the pom poms to make an adorable garland! Tell us how the project went in the comments!











Sunday, September 23, 2018

I love to pick out a few pumpkins every year to display in my home. The sight of them in stores makes it feel like fall. But the rotting around Thanksgiving? No thanks.

This quick, easy trick can keep your uncarved pumpkins fresh for the entire fall season! Even outside!

First, wipe it down with bleach. This cleans the outside and kills any bacteria that may start the rotting process. 

Next, get a spray clear coat and spray the pumpkin, paying special attention to the stem. Make sure you get any cracks or splits closely to prevent it from rotting. I like a glossy clear coat to make it look shiny! 



How easy is that?! It will preserve them for a few months, inside or out. I always buy them as soon as they appear in stores and I had to throw last years out mid December even though it wasn’t rotten. Try it and let us know in the comments how it worked for you!







Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Until I began working with furniture, I never realized how many options there were for bringing life to wood. I had always painted with water-based paints, and was shocked to find how easy using other products could be! I've learned to love painting, staining, and oiling wood all for different reasons. So which one is the best for your project?

Paint

Painting is great and gives lots of options for people who are looking for something specific. In the first picture, I chose an oil based paint because I wanted a smooth, glossy look that would cover the many blemishes from this side-of-the-road pick. The church pew had a lot of blemishes, too, so paint was a natural choice!
Pros:

  • Covers problem areas well
  • Many bright and specific colors available
  • Many choices and finishes
    • You can get oil or water based and even choose glossy or matte to match your style.
  • Can be painted over and over again
  • Does not require as much sanding
    • No need to sand every square inch. Just rough up the large area a bit for the new coat to stick.
  • Works on all types of surfaces
    • Yep, even laminate.


Cons:

  • Easily nicked and tough to touch up
  • Can be expensive
  • Messy
  • Brush strokes often visible
  • Dripping
  • Wait time to dry
  • Cracks, bubbles, or peels when aged


Stain
I love how stain brings out the grain of the wood. Any time I have a piece that has beautiful lines I try to stain it to show its beauty. The tables especially fit that criteria! You can also use stain to give age to wood like I did on the bread board. Click on the pictures to get the tutorial for each.
Pros: 

  • Leaves wood grain
  • Match other pieces in your home
    • Got one oddball that doesn't match? Sand and stain it to match the rest of your home.
  • Leaves even finish (as long as it's not globbed on)
  • Easy to touch up
  • Not particularly expensive
  • Fades nicely with age


Cons:

  • Stains hands
  • Doesn't cover as many blemishes
  • Requires heavy sanding
    • Yes, you even have to sand the hard to reach spots! Staining will show any old finish right through the stain.
  • Best results on solid wood (no laminate or likewise)


Oil
Pros:

  • Very easy to apply
  • Leaves a smooth finish
  • No clear coat needed
  • Brightens color of the wood


Cons:

  • Oily 
  • Hard to remove
    • Once it's on, it's a bother to try to remove it. Oil and sanders don't mix.
  • Limited choices

Does this make your decision easier? Truthfully, they are all about the same amount of effort any way you slice it. But each one produces dramatically different and unique results! Which do you prefer?




Sunday, September 16, 2018

DIY projects can be daunting, especially if you aren't an expert with power tools. If you are wanting to start your power tool collection, you should read 5 Tools Every DIY Diva Must Have, but if you want to make money buying and selling with only one tool, you're in the right place.

I have been accused of using my staple gun as if it is a magic tool that can fix any DIY nightmare. It won't fix everything, but it really can be useful in many situations! There are a million projects you can do with only a staple gun! Here of some of my favorite ideas!
Recover Furniture
This is easily my favorite way to spruce up any ugly piece of furniture! It is incredible how one small change can totally transform the look of a piece of furniture. Look for pieces where the seat is easily removable. Chairs that don't have removable seats make for an incredibly hard project. Want proof? Check out my article on How to Avoid a DIY Disaster 

Easy Curtains
Curtains can totally transform a room, but curtain rods can be expensive! Instead, staple fabric to the back of a wood panel and hang the panel! Want to see exactly how I did this? Take a minute to read about it here.

Coffee Table Makeover
 Fabric and a staple gun can totally transform a coffee table. Here, Jess did such an AMAZING job, I never would have guess how it started! You could also recover a stool to make it an ottoman or make a huge coffee tufted ottoman! The possibilities are endless!

Wall Art
Who says canvases are just for painting? Use fabric to turn them into a stylish work of art! Or imagine taking old t-shirts and turning them into wall art. Sarah did a killer job with this for her baby girl's room. Click the picture to see more from Sarah and get the tutorial for these beauties. So many ways to change up this idea to make it your own!

Wooden Crates
mustard yellow crate with wax finish holding metal teapot and sugar bowls in front of newspaper print walls
Anything with thin wood can be assembled using only a staple gun. This crate is the perfect example of why a staple gun is the superior tool for DIYers. Who wants to haul out the hammer and nail? Not me! Instead, like Alecia, dominate this DIY with only a staple gun in hand.

Transform an Old Window
Glass breaks. That's life. But don't throw your window frame away! Repurpose it with some chicken wire or a chalkboard painted piece of wood! Simply measure to size and staple into the back of the frame! You could use it as a grocery list, picture frame, or memo board! How about stapling ribbons to the back for you to clip bows on? YES!

Fabric Headboard
Kindle Your Creativity: Master Bedroom Redo - DIY Fabric Headboard @Katie Hrubec Hrubec Hrubec Schmeltzer Schmeltzer Marshall
This has a million ways it could be done, but Briana makes it look so easy! A simple wooden frame, padding, fabric, and a staple gun could change the whole look of your bedroom. Imagine adding tufts for a regal, elegant look; the staple gun can work with those, too! The best part is that you can make it match the room exactly and spice up a simple bed frame.

Have I convinced you that you need one? If so, here's a link to the one I use! I highly recommend it because it does nails, too!
So what projects have you made with a staple gun? What's your go-to tool for DIY projects? Leave us the answers in the comments below and, as always, happy making.
    

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Recently, I had a friend walk up to me and ask, “What can’t you do?” Stunned by such a compliment, I didn't really have an answer to her question. But as I thought more and more about her question, I realized that my answer should have been, “What haven’t I tried?” I’ve always been the type to say, “I think I’ll try my turn at knitting today,” or “That sure would look cute if I knew how to wood burn. I’ll learn.”

Much of what we can’t do is simply because we don’t try. 

So here are a few new skills that you can begin to teach yourself in just one afternoon!

Wood Burning
Wood burning is fun but frustrating! Once you have a wood burning tool in your hand, you’ll probably decide you like it. When you touch it to wood, you could change your mind pretty quickly! Wood burning isn’t like writing and can be frustrating at first. But spend some time doodling and practice a lot with the different tips before you start on an important piece of wood. Most importantly, have fun! Below is a great starter kit that you will love!
Calligraphy
 Image result for calligraphy stock photo
There are a hundred different ways to learn calligraphy. You can buy nice calligraphy pens and learn the techniques through YouTube. Me? I prefer to fake it lol. There are plenty of tutorials on faux calligraphy techniques. Want another fool proof way? Check out this tutorial: 

Knitting/crochet 
Image result for knitting stock photo
There are so man different things you can make from learning only two knitting stitches. A cheap set of knitting needles and yarn is the easiest part of learning to knit. It can get frustrating really quickly, but with patience you can be “knitting” and “purling” in a few hours! 

Macrame
Image result for macrame stock photo
Macrame is such a quick, easy way to make beautiful wall art that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. A simple set of knots can get you started and on the way to creating something gorgeous for your home. Here’s a great tutorial by Rufus and Henrietta to make a gorgeous wall hanging that you can master right away! 

Water coloring
Image result for watercolor painting stock photo
It’s not just for kids! Painting with water colors can give you an incredible result that could be wall- worthy pretty quickly! The best thing about water colors is that they are pretty forgiving. Whether painting a scene or abstract colors, watercolors can make any room feel nice a cozy.

Candle making
Image result for candle making stock photo
For candle making, the best way to start is with a kit. Spend some time researching the kind of wax and technique you want to use. The best parts about candle making is that you can use your own container and that they make beautiful and unique gifts. 

Book Cover Carving
Finding out what to do with old books can be tough. This fun way to use Reader’s Digest Books is super quick and easy to learn! Check out the tutorial to get step-by-step instructions: 

Master a saw and sander
Image result for power tools stock photo
With a saw and sander you can create thousands of different things. Power tools aren’t only for men! Empower yourself and stop asking your hubby to cut things for you. You have way more freedom when you don’t have to rely on someone else to help get your projects done. This bread board is a perfect example! I whipped it up in less than 2 hours, all because I’m comfortable with power tools.

So what hobbies do you have that someone could master in one afternoon? Have you tried any of these and loved or hated them? Leave comments below, and don't forget to share this with your friends! 



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